Heraclitus’ ontological belief is that fire is the ultimate reality; all things are just manifestation of fire. Also, Logos is one of the key concepts in his philosophy. He believed that the world is in harmony with Logos. We know him for his theory of constant change, better called “FLUX”

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I haven’t watched the link — I will if it answers my question — but he doesn’t mean that the world is all fire in the way that Thales meant that it’s all water, Anaximenes meant that it’s all air, or Cratylus meant that it’s all earth, right? As you mention, the Greek there is “phlox” or “flux” depending on how we transliterate. I’ve always taken him to mean something figurative — the world is *like fire* in that there’s a sense in which it appears stationary yet is constantly flickering. And, I take his account of logos to be about our (troublesome) relationship with flux; we can discern patterns in the chaos, but there are always differences between things and events and even between the same things and events at different times and from different perspectives.


As with many ancient philosophers, we do not know much about Heraclitus’ personal life. Only thing we can rely on is the stories apparently invented to illustrate his character as inferred from his writings Born in Ephesus, a prominent city of Ionia, the Greek inhabited coast of Asia Minor, but was subject to Persian rule in his lifetime. Unlike most other early philosophers, Heraclitus is usually seen as independent of the several schools and movements later students assigned to the ancients, and he himself implies that he is self-taught Influenced by many great people of his time, such as: Homer, Hesoid, Xenophanes, Pythagoras and many more, yet he criticized some of them such as epic poets. Also Pythagoras was his target too, as he called him a fraud. We know that he’s been judged by both ancient and modern commentators to be a material monist or a process philosopher; a scientific cosmologist, a meta-physician, or a mainly religious thinker His most fundamental departure from previous philosophy lies in his emphasis on human affairs. While he continues many of the physical and cosmological theories of his predecessors, he shifts his focus from the cosmic to human realm. We also need to mention that he was quite misanthropic, claiming that the most people are too stupid to understand his theory. Believing that he’s an elitist like Plato, who thinks that the only select readers are capable of benefitting from his teachings. This might be the reason he, same as Plato, does not teach his philosophical principles directly, but couches them in a literary form that distances the author from the reader. Logos is one of the key concepts in his philosophy. He believed that the world is in harmony with Logos (which means word, mind or term). We know his for his theory of, let’s say continuous change, better called FLUX. Heraclitus’ flux doctrine is a special case of the unity of opposites, pointing to ways things are both the same and not the same over time. He depicts two key opposites that are interconnected, but not identical. Heraclitus sometimes explains how things have opposite qualities: Sea is the purest and most polluted water: for fish drinkable and healthy, for men undrinkable and harmful. Contrary qualities are found in us “as the same thing.” But they are the same by virtue of one thing changing around to another. We are asleep and we wake up; we are awake and we go to sleep. Thus sleep and waking are both found in us, but not at the same time or in the same respect. Indeed, if sleeping and waking were identical, there would be no change as required by the second sentence. Contraries are the same by virtue of constituting a system of connections: alive-dead, waking-sleeping, young-old. Subjects do not possess incompatible properties at the same time, but at different times. In general, what we see in Heraclitus is not a conflation of opposites into an identity, but a series of subtle analyses revealing the interconnectedness of contrary states in life and in the world. There is no need to impute to him a logical fallacy. Opposites are a reality, and their interconnections are real, but the correlative opposites are not identical to each other. His ontological framework was that he believed that fire is the ultimate reality; all things are just manifestation of fire. According to Aristotle the Milesians in general were material monists who advocated other kinds of ultimate matter: Thales water, Anaximander the boundless, Anaximenes air. So Heraclitus’ theory was just another version of a common background theory. According to material monism, some kind of matter is the ultimate reality, and any variation in the world consists merely of qualitative or possibly quantitative change in it; for there is only one reality, for instance fire, which can never come into existence or perish, but can only change in its appearances. Heraclitus, however, advocates a radical kind of change: For souls it is death to become water, for water death to become earth, but from earth water is born, and from water soul In this phrase it seems like that soul occupies the place of fire. We know Heraclitus as much more than a cosmologist, he does indeed offer us some cosmology lessons. This world-order [kosmos], the same of all, no god nor man did create, but it ever was and is and will be: everliving fire, kindling in measures and being quenched in measures. This is the first time he used the word KOSMOS “order” to mean something like world. From previous information we can see that he identified world with fire, but goes on to specify portions of ffire that are kindling and being quenched. He also described the transformation of elementary bodies: The turnings of fire: first sea, and of sea half is earth, half fire-burst. Earth is liquefied as sea and measured into the same proportion as it had before it became earth. So the fire turns into water, and after that the half of that quantity turns into earth and half into fire-burst. The portion that becomes earth turns back into water, in the same quantity it had previously. Here Heraclitus envisages a lawlike transformation of stuff from fire to water to earth; the transformation is reversible, and in it the same relative quantities of stuff are preserved. In this view of the world, the mutual transformations of matter are not an accidental feature, but the very essence of nature. Without change, there would be no world. War is father of all and king of all; and some he manifested as gods, some as men; some he made slaves, some free.


That was a cool read thanks for sharing. Might be misinterpretation, but this very much seems to be an ancient way of relaying systems of thermodynamics. Logos/balance being analogous to a state of equilibrium & flux being energy conversion.


My personal favorite pre-socratic


Interesting presentation. Would it be fair to say that Heraclitus by fire meant “the process of constant change expressed through one single metaphorical process, namely fire, which has a stand alone property free from any opposing counterpart”? And the Logos as the operating system within which everything — the renewal through “fire” included — takes place? If so, the Logos is the “premise”, while fire is the “process as which the premise is expressed”.